Toronto gay events: 5 awesome gay festivals and parties in Toronto you should check out

Toronto is one of the most exciting gay destinations in west Canada. It has an awesome gay scene, and like the gay events in Montreal, it also has its fair share of gay events taking place each year.

These are our 5 best gay events in Toronto you should consider checking out and planning your trip around.

FEBRUARY: Rhubarb Festival

The Rhubarb Festival is Canada’s longest-running new works festival, taking place at the awesome Buddies in Bad Times theatre in the gay village of Toronto. It is a 10 days festival every February, which started in 1979. It has since grown from strength to strength each year, and is today funded partly by the government, partly by private sponsors.

Rhubarb is a festival where artists explore new possibilities in theatre, dance, music, and performance art. This is the place to come and see the most adventurous ideas in performance.

During the festival there are around 3/4 shows taking place, and no two nights of Rhubarb are ever alike.  For more information, check out the Rhubarb archive on the Buddies in Bad Times website.

Rhubarb festival one of gay events in Toronto

MARCH: SNAP! Photo Auction & Gala

SNAP! is an annual photographic fundraising event for the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT). It features two events: the Live and Silent Art Auction of contemporary photography, and a photo competition. Some of the works in the auction sell from $200 up to $8,000.

The proceeds from SNAP support ACT’s programs and services, increase their awareness of HIV and AIDS, and add to their art collections. Since it started in 2002, SNAP has raised over CAD$3 million in support of these programmes and services of ACT.

To find out more about SNAP, check out their website.

SNAP! one of best gay events in Toronto

MAY/JUNE: Inside Out LGBT Film & Video Festival

Inside Out is the largest LGBT film and video festival in Canada. It takes annually in May/June and has been going strong for over 20 years since it began in 1991. It's grown so successful that a similar annual event has been taking place in Ottawa since 2007.

The festival celebrates the best queer film from Canada and around the world and features around 200 films and videos produced by, and about, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people from around the globe.

For more information, check out the Toronto Inside Out website, and also the one for Ottawa Inside Out.

Inside Out LGBT festival one of best gay events in Toronto

JUNE: Toronto gay pride

Pride is perhaps the most famous of all gay events in Toronto. We love the gay pride of Montreal a lot and definitely want to experience the even bigger gay pride of Toronto, which takes place in June. It's famous for being one of the largest pride festivals in the world, with around 1 million attending.

During the Toronto gay pride festival, the Church and Wellesley gaybourhood morphs into a weekend-long open-air party venue with loads of live music, street food, beer gardens, craft stalls and theatre.

In Toronto, the whole of June is devoted to this big festival and it becomes Pride month. If ever there's a time to visit Toronto, it's during this awesome festival. For more information about what's happening during Pride, exact dates and more, check their official website.

Toronto pride one of best gay events in Toronto

OCTOBER: Halloween gay party

The annual Halloween party on Church Street in October is another huge gay event in Toronto worth planning your trip around. It attracts thousands of revellers, some in costume, and of course many wearing vary little.

During the Halloween party, around 3 blocks in the gay village of Toronto are pedestrianised, with the festivities starting at around 7pm and going into the early hours of the next day.

To find out when the next one is , keep an eye out on the Toronto Event Facebook page.

For more read why we think Canada is one of the most gay friendly countries in the world and watch our vlog about Toronto's gay scene:


⭐️ TRAVEL INSURANCE — We recommend you always take out travel insurance before your next vacation. What happens if you suffer from illness, injury, theft or a cancellation? With travel insurance, you can have peace of mind and not worry. We love World Nomads travel insurance and have been using it for years. Their comprehensive coverage is second to none and their online claims process is very user friendly.

⭐️ SAFETY & SECURITY — All travelers (gay or not) can sometimes encounter danger when traveling. CloseCircle is your “virtual body guard” mobile app which provides security alerts and support wherever you are in the world. They have a 24/7 emergency response team monitoring their users who will contact you immediately if the SOS swipe button is activated. Support can include anything from practical advice, to free evacuation from areas with extreme weather or security risks. You can read more about CloseCircle in our article about how to stay safe whilst traveling.

⭐️ ONLINE ANONYMITY — A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a must in many countries: it allows you to surf anonymously and maintain your privacy whilst traveling. You'll particularly need it in countries where gay dating apps are blocked by the government. We recommend ExpressVPN, a reliable and cost effective service which we used and loved during our travels.

⭐️ HOTELS or APARTMENTS — When we plan a trip, we always look for the best hotel deals. We love because not only do they have a comprehensive listing of accommodation options, they also offer the best prices. Added bonus: they provide 24/7 support and free cancellation for most listings.

⭐️ SIGHTSEEING and ADVENTURES — When we travel somewhere, we like to seek out the best experiences, whether it is cooking with locals in Bangkok, hiking on a glacier in Patagonia, or going on a wildlife safari in Sri Lanka. Our favorite place to look is GetYourGuide because they have over 30,000 highly rated activities, a user-friendly booking process with free cancellation and a 24 hour customer support.

This article contains affiliate links. If you click on them, we may receive compensation which keeps our website alive and helps us bring you to more destinations.

Pin to read later

5 gay events in Toronto to check out

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Gay travel newsletter

Our best gay travel tips, latest stories and exclusive deals sent straight to your inbox

Holler Box

Gay travel newsletter

Our best gay travel tips, latest stories and exclusive deals sent straight to your inbox

Holler Box